Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** AFSCME opposes state employee vax mandate, points to union members “who remain fearful of the COVID vaccine”
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*** UPDATED x1 *** AFSCME opposes state employee vax mandate, points to union members “who remain fearful of the COVID vaccine”

Wednesday, Aug 25, 2021

* From AFSCME Council 31…

AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR AFSCME MEMBERS IN ILLINOIS STATE GOVERNMENT

RIGID VACCINE MANDATES WON’T WORK

Vaccinations are an essential tool in halting the spread of the coronavirus and our union has worked diligently to educate members about the importance of getting vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and their co-workers. Thousands have already done so.

Oppose Rigid, Universal Mandate

However, we know there are union members who remain fearful of the COVID vaccine, as well as others who have medical contraindications or religious objections. That’s why AFSCME opposes rigid, universal vaccine mandates that effectively threaten employees with termination if they do not get vaccinated.

And that’s why our union is opposed to the plan Governor Pritzker recently put forth to mandate COVID vaccinations for all state employees who work in congregate facilities in DOC, DJJ, DHS, and DVA.

Employees in these facilities have been on the job daily since the onset of this pandemic, providing care for some of our state’s most severely disabled individuals and ailing veterans, as well as maintaining order and providing rehabilitative services in prisons and youth centers.

A punitive universal mandate only serves to undermine morale and heighten the stress of these already stressful jobs.

Bargaining Required

While the courts have consistently affirmed that employers have the right to mandate vaccinations (as they have done in the past to address other types of health threats), both private sector (NLRA) labor law, as well as state public employee labor laws (e.g. IPLRA), require employers to bargain over the impact (implementation) of such a decision.

In announcing this employee mandate earlier this month, Gov. Pritzker recognized the administration’s duty to bargain with unions representing state employees and quickly moved to initiate such negotiations with our union.

With a union bargaining team that includes all members of the Council 31 Executive Board who currently work in a state congregate facility, those negotiations are now underway.

A Better Path

Based on input from local union leaders from around the state, the AFSCME team pointed out to management that a key problem in controlling the spread of the virus is operational laxity in the administration of some of the congregate facilities: Too often safety protocols are neglected, testing is not rigorous, visitors are often not required to wear masks, and quarantines are frequently not put in place in the wake of exposure to the virus.

AFSCME argued that the State should work with the Union to address these unsafe conditions before turning to employee vaccination mandates. CMS responded that they are prepared to work cooperatively to address these safety problems, but they want to do so in conjunction with a mandatory vaccination program.

The union bargaining team has also pointed to the federal government and other state governments that have put more flexible forms of vaccination programs in place, such as providing for a strict testing regimen as an alternative for those who object to vaccinations.

In addition, we have expressed serious concern that if a significant number of employees are discharged as a result of this plan, understaffing in these agencies—which are finding it increasingly difficult to hire new employees—would be greatly exacerbated and overtime pressures on the remaining employees would grow.

Noting that it is now well documented that the Delta variant can also strike the vaccinated, as well as the unvaccinated, the Union is also urging that if the Employer is serious about combatting COVID in these settings, it should act immediately to restore the policy whereby employees who become sick with COVID—or are quarantined by the employer or a public health body—are granted paid time off rather than having to file workers’ compensation claims.

Bargaining Should “Freeze” Implementation

The governor’s plan sets October 4th as the deadline for employees to be fully vaccinated—and the relevant agencies have been notifying employees that they must get vaccinated in the next few weeks in order to be in compliance. That’s flat-out wrong. AFSCME has informed Management that pursuant to state labor law, the employer cannot proceed to implementation of its plan while negotiations are ongoing.

Standing Together

Our union will continue to push for flexibility rather than the rigid, universal vaccination plan that the State is now proposing for state employees. We take very seriously our obligation to safeguard the health and safety of union members, as well as the public they serve. Our actions have been—and will continue to be—guided by the conviction that encouragement and education, not punitive measures, are the best path forward in combatting the deadly coronavirus and its variants. Our best hope of achieving that goal is rooted in the grassroots solidarity that has long been the hallmark of our union.

Pandering of the worst sort.

*** UPDATE *** OK, let’s go through this a bit. First, a religious exemption is required under Supreme Court rulings, so AFSCME knows it will be in there. And federal law requires medical exemptions. Those are red herrings.

Second, who controls actual access to prisons and other congregate settings? Well, that would be AFSCME members. If they have a beef about visitors not wearing masks, then enforce the policy. Also, while testing is being performed pretty frequently right now, it could be ramped up more. But, really, this should go beyond testing, particularly in the veterans’ homes and homes for mentally and developmentally disabled. AFSCME should stop pandering to IDOC workers.

Third, unlimited extra paid time off for unvaccinated workers seems just bizarre to me. If you’ve got a legit exemption, fine. If you get a little sick after taking the shot, fine. If you have a breakthrough case and you’re sick, fine.

/rant

- Posted by Rich Miller        

144 Comments
  1. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:32 pm:

    Pandering to AFSCME members who are correctional officers, among others, in the Eastern Bloc regions.


  2. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:33 pm:

    What a bad take and it certainly worsens the organization and labor’s image as a whole.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:34 pm:

    Other jobs are still available.

    If the governor caves to the union here after all that this state has been through by *not*… this will be failing Illinois.

    AFSCME is not a serious union here.

    Organized labor was created for the protection, safety, welfare… and health… of members, collectively, and collectively being for each other.

    This is not a union. I can’t take seriously an organized labor group that doesn’t see health as a want for its members or keeping them safe. Nope.


  4. - IT Data Guy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    I am in AFSCME and 100% disagree with all of this. It might be time to go fair share. I don’t recall seeing one single survey asking how I feel on the matter. This is very disappointing.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Pandering of the worst sort. ===

    With Mayor Lightfoot’s announcement she included that there is a process for requesting exemptions for religious and health related reasons. It might be worth asking the Governor’s office about what their exemption process will look like.

    I have also been curious about the vaccination rates in 24/7 facilities for members of management.


  6. - AC - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    AFSCME has such a long history of being on the right side of safety in the workplace, Roberta Lynch has been a strong advocate for members and workers in general, up to the point she started advocating for people who want to spread the virus rather than those who want to be protected from the virus. Covid cannot be bargained with, and workers deserve as much protection as possible. Certainly there are related issues for management and AFSCME to bargain over, but they would be things that strengthen workplace safety, not weaken it.


  7. - Grateful Gail - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:39 pm:

    As someone whose loved one lives in a congregate care center it is NOT the adminstration….it is AFSCME employees not following the rules, and not doing what they are told. The minute a supervisor is not in place to watch the masks are removed or lowered to the chin. There is little administration can do except paper write ups. This is just SO low…..to blame the administration for the failure of AFSCME to do what is right and follow the rules. Also, employees at the centers are now tested twice a week, and it has done little to stop the spread. The test is simple….takes less than a few minutes, and is barely an inconvenience. I am so disappointed in AFSMCE….don’t tell families how you care about our loved ones if you aren’t really to really advocate for safety….not just for the residents, but for your fellow workers.


  8. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    As a 30+ year member of a union (not AFSME) I have to agree that everything is bargainable. But… in a public health emergency, AFSME needs to get their act together and somehow push their members to do the right thing.
    If they push too hard, and it goes to court, they may lose.
    I disagree that the members are fearful of the vaccine. “Vaccine Bad” seems to be the mantra.


  9. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:40 pm:

    so sick of stupid. members who remain fearful of the vaccine? how about fearful of dying. cause that’s what those of us who got the vaccine are. between AFSCME and the Police union, there are some dumb people out there. science is real. use it.


  10. - Socially DIstant watcher - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:41 pm:

    A mandate with religious and medical exemptions is, by the union’s definition, not a rigid mandate. Everyone’s happy.


  11. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:41 pm:

    Under all of the pandering it seems to me AFSCME has laid out it’s requirements - allow testing in lieu of vaccinations and bring back COVID time and they have a deal.


  12. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    “Our union will continue to push for flexibility”

    Either vaccinate or take regular tests. We are now struggling with the pandemic almost exclusively because of the unvaccinated. We have to clamp down in both the public and private sectors.


  13. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    “RIGID VACCINE MANDATES WON’T WORK”

    Translation: Rigid vaccine mandates will work, and put some of us out of a job.


  14. - bungalowhistorians - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    This is the wrong stance for AFSCME. It has cost them two members from this household (one a former healthcare worker) and suspect it may end up costing them more members than Janus would by pandering to the vocal minority. Efforts to end a pandemic should not be bargained. The State should end the negotiations and implement the mandate for all State and University employees.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:45 pm:

    Is the governor waiting for a Friday News Dump?

    The union has made it clear;

    Pandering… to the union’s pandering… of the anti-vax… then what has this 17 months or so been about?


  16. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    Little patience for people unwilling to follow the science. I suggest that the union should pick up the covid related healthcare costs for anyone unwilling to be vaccinated. The rest of the population shouldn’t be asked to pay for the costs incurred by others due to stubborn ignorance.


  17. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:48 pm:

    =guided by the conviction that encouragement and education, not punitive measures, are the best path forward=

    We’re past that point. Vaccines have been readily available for months now. The thing about a pandemic is that it won’t pause to wait for people to get encouraged and educated. I would expect exemptions for health reasons and possibly limited religious exemptions, but I suspect that the majority of the holdouts are in the “fearful of the Covid vaccine” category as AFSCME defines it. For those employees it’s decision time. Overcome your fear or find a new line of work.


  18. - Joe Schmoe - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    JB’s credibility is totally online if he caves to the unions. Every school, employer, and institutional facility will laugh at any executive directive that comes out of his mouth.


  19. - illinfan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:50 pm:

    AFSCME is pandering to some of their membership. JB has to take the lead and not cave to the union on this issue. Mandate but allow for exemptions. The state should be an example of how to implement public health measures


  20. - Little Sympathy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    If encouragement and education alone worked, we’d be at herd immunity by now. We’ve been pushing carrots for close to six months; time for some sticks.

    As OW noted, there are other jobs available.


  21. - Morty - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:52 pm:

    Bad reasoning


  22. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    “With Mayor Lightfoot’s announcement she included that there is a process for requesting exemptions for religious and health related reasons”

    Unless one is a verifiable member of one of only two major religions ..the Dutch Reform or Church of Christ Scientist ( Christian Science) there are no religious exemptions.


  23. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    I am not part of a herd…are you?


  24. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:56 pm:

    === points to union members “who remain fearful of the COVID vaccine” ===

    And the union members who fear for their lives and health and that of family and friends mean squat to AFSCME.

    This is the wrong hill for AFSCME to die on. Implement the mandate now.


  25. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    Labor is really doing its’ best to hurt itself, its’ members and society at large today. As a labor supporter, I find this terribly sad.


  26. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    I am in AFSCME — and I support AFSCME.

    But this is just bonkers. Of *course* every state employee should be vaccinated — except in very specific autoimmune issues.

    AFSCME’s position here mystifies me. I suspect it’s a vocal minority — a very, very tiny minority — that has AFSCME’s ear here.

    This is not a way to go — especially for AFSCME.


  27. - Glengarry - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    Stuff like this makes me want to be a fair share employee. This is nonsense and the AFSCME must change its stance for the better good. Remember it was an AFSCME employee that introduced the virus into the Lasalle Veterans Home.


  28. - OMG - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    You know what else puts people out of jobs…death. Just to make sure I’m clear - I parsed this down to the essence of the letter:

    Vaccinations are an essential tool in halting the spread of the coronavirus.

    Union members remain fearful of the COVID vaccine.

    Our union will continue to push for flexibility rather than universal vaccination plan.

    We take very seriously our obligation to safeguard the health and safety of union members, as well as the public they serve.

    Good lord we are screwed.


  29. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    BTW — this is *so backwards* it makes my head spin.

    I can’t take AFSCME seriously with a position like this — and, again, I’m *in* AFSCME.

    What, I want to work with a colleague that refuses the vaccine? No way.

    The safe workplace is the vaccinated workplace.


  30. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    “I don’t recall seeing one single survey asking how I feel on the matter.”

    Yup. Your voice doesn’t matter…they’re worrying about losing the next internal election because of the downstate DOC employees…so much that they’re throwing their members that work at care facilities under the bus by blaming them here.

    Hard to take them seriously ever again.


  31. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    Irrational fear of the vaccine is doing so much harm. One of the vaccines was just approved by the FDA. Many do not want to be held hostage by this destructive and deadly irrationality—thus the vaccine mandates by some businesses and governments.


  32. - thisjustinagain - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    AFSCME has somehow turned a victory for its membership to stay healthy and keep working into a giant loss. Wow. I was AFSCME once, and I’m stunned the leadership has gone so far off into the weeds on an obvious health and safety issue affecting the members. Did they take the entire package of Stupid Pills at once??


  33. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    What is amazing to me is that one of the primary reasons unions were formed was to address worker safety. This stance is anti-worker safety.


  34. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==Implement the mandate now.==

    I strongly agree, and I’m in a state employee union (not AFSCME).

    Either by the end of September or October get vaccinated (except for legit religious or medical exemptions) or get fired. And apply this to all state employees.


  35. - out in the sticks - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    AFSCME should be ashamed. I belong to that union and they are essentially useless. Sure a far cry from what the UAW and Teamsters were many moons ago when I was in those unions.


  36. - Anon 1:07 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    It’s no wonder why some people can’t support public sector unions. This b.s. makes it hard to feel sympathetic toward their plight.

    And please, seriously, can someone point to a legitimate “religious” objection to taking a life-saving vaccine? Or are these people hiding behind religion for their own purposes? Very “un-Christ- like” if these objectors are Christians.


  37. - Avocado Toast - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    Go home, AFSCME. You’re drunk.


  38. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    hey unions, the entire…yes entire….staff and players of Ole Miss football got vaccinated. Mississippi. and you can’t agree to a mandate?


  39. - Janesville - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:17 pm:

    As an AFSCME member, I do not want to work with unvaccinated colleagues. I think the law is clear that the government and employers can impose such mandates with limited exemptions for health and religious reasons. The Indiana University case is making it way up to the Supreme Court and was upheld by the 7th Circuit. I want my union to protect my health in my workplace.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    If AFSCME *ever* complains about workplace safety again… they are an embarrassing lot to what being “organized labor”

    They don’t care about workplace safety. Bottom line.

    Can’t square it any other way.


  41. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:22 pm:

    AFSCME is now on the same page as the Chicago FOP.


  42. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    yet another hospital has mandated the vaccine for their workers. why should it not be as safe in state run facilities? AFSCME you are a total joke on this topic.


  43. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    Another union condemned to stick up for their dumbest, most incompetent and naive members.


  44. - BTO2 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    It is a mandatory subject of bargaining, I suppose you could hope to reach agreement on testing vs 100% vaccinated. The far right wing of AFSCME is vocal, Eastern bloc like. I’m sure same bunch that HS football must be played and no masks at school.

    Although I don’t agree with the stance, I understand collective bargaining. AFSCME didn’t have to send questiiaire out, they know majority support the shots. Once again, it’s the vocal minority.


  45. - EmployeeHealthandSafetyDoesNotMatter - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    Employees health and safety is completely disregarded on both fronts here. AFSCME is fighting people being manadated to vaccinate and Agency management are calling employees back to work when numbers are higher now than they was at this same time last year. The virus spreads faster and is affecting young and old alike. I work at DoIT and they are looking to call employees back to work 3 days a week. Imagine… the agency that makes it possible for everyone to work remotely “needs” to be brought back to the office. This is a clear indication of management disregarding employee health and safety. Not to mention embarrassing as an Agency.


  46. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:27 pm:


    They don’t care about workplace safety. Bottom line.

    Exactly. They won’t be taken seriously after this.

    They’re now on the side of the fringe.

    And as someone else pointed out — I didn’t get a single survey asking me how I feel about this.

    Come on, AFSCME. At the very least, poll your members and show some numbers.

    My guess — as I said above — this a very vocal minority — but apparently a minority powerful enough to sway all of AFSCME leadership.

    Hey, how about doing something real — something actual — and compel the state to push back the September 7 “back to work — no more remote work date”?

    I mean, cripes — do something that actually matters to the *majority* of your members.


  47. - AD - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    === allow testing in lieu of vaccinations===

    Can we take the cost of the tests out of the employees paychecks or raise your health insurance premiums $200 like Delta Airlines announced?

    If AFSCME really wants to negotiate this, Pritzker can and should bring a lot of other things to the table.


  48. - Asteroid of Caution - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:29 pm:

    Sure does put John Tillman and the IPI in a pickle.

    Does he back JB against AFSMCE?

    Or does he embrace AFSCME’s anti-mandate, pro-free market workplace agenda against the governor?


  49. - Chito - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    Waiting for insurers to announce they will no longer cover costs associated with hospitalizations of eligible non-vaccinated patients.


  50. - Dog Lover - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    Avocado Toast made me laugh. Thank you (banned punctuation) I needed that.


  51. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:33 pm:

    ==AFSCME is fighting people being manadated to vaccinate and Agency management are calling employees back to work when numbers are higher now than they was at this same time last year. The virus spreads faster and is affecting young and old alike. I work at DoIT and they are looking to call employees back to work 3 days a week.==

    Well boo hoo on that. Everyone at Secretary of State has been back entirely in the office since June 1, 2020. Almost 15 months ago. Immediately after the stay at home orders ended.


  52. - Anoni - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:34 pm:

    Hopefully the state keeps the policy for workers to get paid time off to care for a sick family member — mandates aside, many of our kids still cannot get vaccinated and we have to keep them home.


  53. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    “I am in AFSCME and 100% disagree with all of this. It might be time to go fair share. I don’t recall seeing one single survey asking how I feel on the matter. This is very disappointing.”

    “The safe workplace is the vaccinated workplace.”

    I am with all my AFSCME brothers and sisters who believe Council 31 and leadership has let us down on this issue. I too, am seriously considering revoking my membership. If enough of us do this, maybe they will change their position. After all, isn’t collective action what being in a union is all about?


  54. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==Translation: Rigid vaccine mandates will work, and put some of us out of a job.==

    Maybe the latter point will also bring the long-awaited fumigation of political hacks in state government (in case there’s Rauner hires, as well as even still some leftover Quinn and Blago appointees, that are still with the state despite their questionable qualifications and political connections).


  55. - bungalowhistorians - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    Two of the major airlines are adding a $200 per month surcharge to the insurance cost for all employees who refuse the vaccine. This is in addition to regular testing. They have said it costs approximately $40,000 for each employee hospitalized with Covid. Perhaps the State needs to implement a similar incentive to get vaccinated or does that also require consultation with AFSCME?


  56. - truthteller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:37 pm:

    ASFME or ANY union is on the wrong side of this and need to be placed on noticed going forward


  57. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    ==Translation: Rigid vaccine mandates will work, and put some of us out of a job.==

    Here’s hoping.

    A vaccinated workplace is a safe workplace.

    Plexigass and masks and social distancing are nowhere near as safe as shots in arms.


  58. - H-W - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    @Rich — Your rant is completely justified.

    Staying in testing mode guarantees an eternal (if not simply long-term) cost for the state. Vaccination reduces this “union supported” tax burden dramatically.

    Vaccination guarantees we will have fewer. Testing also guarantees that we will have more cases.

    People who are afraid of the Covid vaccines are like children who are afraid of shots or dentists. We do not allow our children to avoid medicine and dentistry simply because they fear. Parents who do allow their children’s fears of healthcare to dictate whether or not they receive medical care are soon reported to the DCFS. Adults who fear medical care are making excuses to justify irrational choices and based on unsubstantiated fears.


  59. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    - stop pandering to IDOC workers. -

    No kidding, these jobs are usually about the best paying ones around in those communities, and the guard jobs don’t require a degree or trade. Where are those employees going to go?


  60. - EmployeeHealthandSafetyDoesNotMatter - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    Another problem here is that people who are positive with Covid will be required to use their own sick time. Those people are going to come to work sick and spread the virus versus having to use 2 weeks of their own time. That is assuming they even have 2 weeks of sick time available to use. As a new employee it took me 10 months without using a single sick day to even get 2 weeks worth of time. All this when I 100 percent can and currently do perform all my work remotely without issue.


  61. - A Jack - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    The GA should pass a law making the vaccine a requirement to work in certain areas.

    Early in my career, I had to deal with tobacco smoke being ventilated in from the AFSCME bargained smoking area. I could not get that unsafe situation resolved because it was a bargained right to poison indoor air. After the GA passed a law eliminating indoor smoking, AFSCME lost that bargaining right. I think the GA could probably quickly resolve this situation too with a new public safety law requiring vaccines for employees involved with public safety.


  62. - sulla - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    “Sure does put John Tillman and the IPI in a pickle.”

    It puts the left in a pickle too. Its been an axiom on the political left for my entire life that the interests of unions are de facto the interests of the rest of the country.

    Yet AFSCME wants to use the health and safety of our loved ones under their care as merely one more bargaining chip on the table for concessions. And this same union expects us to call our legislators in support next time there is a contract negotiation underway?

    In the words of John Lithgow: I have two words for you, and one of them is “off”.


  63. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    They are going to angle for additional comp like a vaccination bonus or something.

    But not a good generic look, especially as more employers require it. Any word it the nurses’ unions are pushing back on this in hospital systems.


  64. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==Another problem here is that people who are positive with Covid will be required to use their own sick time==

    If you aren’t vaccinated then boo hoo for you. You should have to use your own time. Maybe if you have to take unpaid time off you’ll think about getting the vaccine.


  65. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    ==Early in my career, I had to deal with tobacco smoke being ventilated in from the AFSCME bargained smoking area. I could not get that unsafe situation resolved because it was a bargained right to poison indoor air. After the GA passed a law eliminating indoor smoking, AFSCME lost that bargaining right. ==

    I remember this well as a non-smoker.
    Springfield passed their smoking ban September 2006, over a year before the statewide ban. Yet the city’s ban IIRC didn’t apply to state buildings’ indoor smoking areas due to “union regulations.”


  66. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:47 pm:


    Where are those employees going to go?

    Nowhere, if they get vaccinated.

    Then they’ll stop walking around toxic — and a danger, literally, to everyone within their physical proximity, vaccinated or no.

    Ditto for every other state worker. If you choose “toxicity” over safety — why in the world should I be forced to work with you?


  67. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:47 pm:

    =Third, unlimited extra paid time off for unvaccinated workers seems just bizarre to me.=

    While I know that we won’t be seeing this anytime soon with AFSCME workers, Delta airlines just announced that non-vaccinated workers’ will pay $200 more a month for health insurance. This is after United mandated vaccines for all employees. This is where the world is headed. For AFSCME workers’ it’s time to acknowledge what’s clearly staring them in the face.


  68. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:49 pm:

    - Its been an axiom on the political left for my entire life that the interests of unions are de facto the interests of the rest of the country. -

    No, it’s an axiom that workers should have the right to organize unions. That doesn’t mean the left believes they should get everything they want.


  69. - Westender - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:57 pm:

    It is time for the State to mandate vaccinations for all State employees, as well as all medical and extended care facilities. This is the best way to keep the most people safe.


  70. - Reese's Pieces - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    Another AFSCME here disgusted with my union about this. I confidently surmise that the Venn diagram of those who oppose vaccines and those who are Fair Share would reveal one giant selfish circle.


  71. - Fixer - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    I’m so tired of this fearful of the vaccine. The same folks harping on about being afraid of vaccines are the same folks who have been complaining about folks wanting precautions in place for the last year. AFSCME is on the wrong side of this one. Quit trying to appease the folks who have actively undermined the efforts to keep folks alive for the last year and a half.


  72. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    +Anonymous @ 1:54 was me+

    ===A punitive universal mandate===

    Punitive: adj. inflicting or intended as punishment (Oxford English Dictionary)

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. (Inigo Montoya)

    The press needs to start calling out anyone who refers to a vaccine mandate as “punitive.” It is in no way a punishment to get a free, safe, effective vaccine. Ask the person who says it “In what way is this punishment? How is a health and safety mandate a punishment? Who is being punished?” There needs to be very strong push-back on this misuse of language.

    Firing someone for not getting vaccinated is a punitive measure. Requiring a vaccine is not.


  73. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:09 pm:

    “then boo hoo for you.” Demo, the point wasn’t that they wanted to be paid for being sick, the point was that people will probably come to work sick rather than use their sick time…if they even have any. It’s not the person with no sick time that suffers, it’s the healthy people that get infected because the sick person didn’t stay home. Just like they do today with colds and the flu, only now with a deadly virus.


  74. - Moe Berg - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:13 pm:

    AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR AFSCME MEMBERS IN ILLINOIS STATE GOVERNMENT

    RIGID MANDATES AGAINST BRINGING MEAN DOGS TO WORK WON’T WORK

    We know that some AFSCME members prefer to bring mean dogs to work because it helps them feel safe.

    Banning means dogs, even if they occasionally bite the people AFSCME members care for, will cause needless stress to AFSCME members who say their mean dogs are essential for reducing stress at work.


  75. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    I couldn’t be more thankful that nobody on this message board isn’t in a union leadership role.

    To the post: AFSCME has been advocating for vaccines. They also have the responsibility to negotiate on behalf of its members. Everything is negotiable. Everything. Will this go to court? Probably. Will AFSCME lose? Absolutely. So let it play out how it has to play out. Let’s slow down the pearl clutching just a tad.

    - bungalowhistorians - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    === Perhaps the State needs to implement a similar incentive to get vaccinated or does that also require consultation with AFSCME? ===

    The answer is yes. It does.


  76. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:23 pm:

    ==the point was that people will probably come to work sick==

    Which is why you do health checks for people as they arrive to work and you turn them right around and send them home if they are sick.


  77. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==Everything is negotiable. Everything.==

    That’s not true. Not everything has to be negotiated.


  78. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    ===They also have the responsibility to negotiate on behalf of its members===

    The union should be most concerned with the safety of immunocompromised members and those who legit cannot take the vax. Instead, their efforts are all about protecting the feelings of a tiny group of people who refuse to believe the reality in front of their own faces and want the freedom to infect others.


  79. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    =It puts the left in a pickle too. =

    Meh, other than 150, they’ve always been the next-most GQP union out there. Many on the left have been looking for a reason to cut bait with them for a while. If I’m remembering correctly, MJM had a huge feud with them back in the day


  80. - Huh? - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:27 pm:

    The State and City could do what Delta Airlines just did, charging unvaccinated employees $200/month as a hedge against covid hospitalization.

    https://gizmodo.com/delta-air-lines-will-make-unvaccinated-employees-pay-2-1847556666


  81. - CardsFan - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:36 pm:

    Louder for the people in the back.

    ==The union should be most concerned with the safety of immunocompromised members and those who legit cannot take the vax. Instead, their efforts are all about protecting the feelings of a tiny group of people who refuse to believe the reality in front of their own faces and want the freedom to infect others.==


  82. - Nick Nombre - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    As Rich mentions AFSCME has a responsibility to all its members not just the people against vaccines. As usual, they’ve solicited zero input from the average members.


  83. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:48 pm:

    === The union should be most concerned with the safety of immunocompromised members and those who legit cannot take the vax. ===

    I believe they are. One of the items AFSCME wants is for residents of these congregate living facilities to be mandated as well, along with visitors and vendors. If this doesn’t happen, the virus is still coming in and effecting those that can’t Vax. Without this, the employee mandate doesn’t change much.

    ===  Instead, their efforts are all about protecting the feelings of a tiny group of people ===

    With respect, according to your post a few days ago, the numbers of state employees that are vaccinated are very low. That tiny group is the majority as sad as it may be.


  84. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:53 pm:

    ==Without this, the employee mandate doesn’t change much.==

    It absolutely does change things. Stop making dumb anti-vax arguments.


  85. - Mr K - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:53 pm:


    the numbers of state employees that are vaccinated are very low

    I don’t believe this. I got both my Pfizer shots at the Thompson Center during the ‘State Employee’ vaccination days — and it was packed. With state employees, I presume.

    I understand “packed” is subjective — but how do you know that the numbers of state employees are low? Are you privy to some number?


  86. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    I’m not arguing for anti vax. Please read what I wrote again.


  87. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:57 pm:

    Then don’t make such a dumb argument.


  88. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    It was according to Rich’s post the other day. It might have been only IDOC though. Apologies if that was the case. But it is the largest congregate living population in the state by far.


  89. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    =They also have the responsibility to negotiate on behalf of its members=

    The union has a responsibility to represent the benefits of their collective organization. That’s one of the reasons for “collective bargaining” and not negotiating salaries for every individual that thinks they’re underpaid. If unions were so easily intimidated by a minority of their members they wouldn’t be able to fulfill their mission. Negotiating for the unvaccinated also means negotiating against the interests of the vaccinated. And last I checked the majority of AFSCME membership is in the later category.


  90. - Frank talks - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 2:59 pm:

    I just can’t……. Absolutely baffling. Public servants right? Isn’t that what they always claim?


  91. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:02 pm:

    Not sure what I said was “dumb”. If the employees are vaccinated and other people that come in and out of the facility daily are not vaccinated, the virus can still spread inside said facility. Smallest words I could use for you Demoralized


  92. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    You already got an extra paid day off this year with the new Juneteenth holiday (which I supported).

    Silly me thinking AFSCME would do the right thing when full FDA approval of the vaccines came about.

    How about we trade the unbargained for Juneteenth day off for mandatory COVID vaxes?


  93. - Mason born - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:13 pm:

    Bad habits

    -One of the items AFSCME wants is for residents of these congregate living facilities to be mandated as well, along with visitors and vendors-

    Problem with your reasoning here is residents don’t leave, staff are out living their lives in contact with the communities around them. The staff are the likely route in. Want to require Vendors be vaxxed go for it. Require visitors to double mask if needed fine, but AFSCME’S Argument is bull. It’s the staff that is on site daily after spending the other 16hrs in the day sharing germs with the community.

    AFSCME is just full of it.


  94. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:14 pm:

    “How about we trade the unbargained for Juneteenth day off for mandatory COVID vaxes?” Make it Columbus Day instead and I’d go for it.


  95. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    What’s all the fuss about? AFSCME is just wants to add the “scardy cat” exemption for its fearful members.


  96. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:33 pm:

    Mason born

    IDOC inmates are out in the community everyday. Work camps, court writs, medical furloughs. Development Centers residents go to churches, schools, community gathering, etc.

    === Want to require Vendors be vaxxed go for it.===
    That would have to come from the governor.

    === Require visitors to double mask if needed fine, ===
    Why not vaccinated?


  97. - Meow - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:34 pm:

    Bruce Rauner apparently was right.


  98. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    === You already got an extra paid day off this year with the new Juneteenth holiday (which I supported). ===

    Not sure what this has to do with vaccine mandates. Odd stance.


  99. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:37 pm:

    I think it’s a terrible decision. We look so weak here. I’m a proud Afscme. But not today.
    For the life of me I don’t know why we pander to the IDOCs when they are the least to engage in solidarity in my experience.


  100. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:38 pm:

    (Sigh)

    - Bad Habits -

    The job, predicated on vaccination, is the issue.

    In the end, if mandated, folks can decide… vaccinate or choose other employment.

    Anything else is ridiculous drivel to stop folks being fired for holding a very minority position.

    That’s it.


  101. - A Jack - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:47 pm:

    The Governor’s ads I have seen so far center on his quick reaction to the Covid crisis. Does AFSCME really want to stomp on the Governor’s feet after he has been so good to them? Perhaps AFSCME would like another Rauner-like Governor.


  102. - Frumpy White Guy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    I’m a Proud Progressive Democrat and I will be voting against AFSCME endorsed candidates.


  103. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:49 pm:

    You sure do love that (sigh)

    === Anything else is ridiculous drivel to stop folks being fired for holding a very minority position.

    That’s it.===

    Well, it’s not.


  104. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:51 pm:

    ===Well, it’s not.===

    When folks are fired… yeah… it could be.

    The drivel and “what if” silly has zero to do what the mandate will be about.

    Vaccinate or walk.


  105. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:54 pm:

    You haven’t read anything I’ve written. . .


  106. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:55 pm:

    ==If the employees are vaccinated and other people that come in and out of the facility daily are not vaccinated, the virus can still spread ==

    You’re using that as an argument to support AFSCME members resisting vaccination. That is a dumb argument.


  107. - Reese's Pieces - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    Hey Frumpy White Guy - I’ll see your vote and raise you the elimination of my PEOPLE contribution. That’s PEOPLE power…


  108. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:57 pm:

    === You haven’t read anything I’ve written. . .===

    You are looking for ridiculous excuses not to mandate vaccines.

    Please don’t make me break this down.


  109. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 3:59 pm:

    I’m not supporting AFSCME members resisting vaccination. I want everyone vaccinated.


  110. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:00 pm:

    === You are looking for ridiculous excuses not to mandate vaccines. ===

    Again, you haven’t read anything I’ve written


  111. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:01 pm:

    Bad Habits:

    You said:

    ==One of the items AFSCME wants is for residents of these congregate living facilities to be mandated as well, along with visitors and vendors. If this doesn’t happen, the virus is still coming in and effecting those that can’t Vax. Without this, the employee mandate doesn’t change much.==

    You are attempting to justify their resistance to mandatory vaccinations. Your words. If you want everyone vaccinated that’s good. That should be the sum total of your commentary then.


  112. - Non-Union Member - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:04 pm:

    Credit to AFSCME here for looking out and supporting their members


  113. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    === Again, you haven’t read anything I’ve written===

    I can’t believe I haveta do this…

    Start here;

    === ===They also have the responsibility to negotiate on behalf of its members===

    The union should be most concerned with the safety of immunocompromised members and those who legit cannot take the vax. Instead, their efforts are all about protecting the feelings of a tiny group of people who refuse to believe the reality in front of their own faces and want the freedom to infect others.===

    You are again pushing this idea without any grasping it’s the protecting of the small minority that want no vaccinations..

    How about here…

    === IDOC inmates are out in the community everyday. Work camps, court writs, medical furloughs. Development Centers residents go to churches, schools, community gathering, etc.===

    Again, you have this fixation about… “whatabout”…

    No, this is about AFSCME, and *any* whatabout that tries to lessen that a union has zero interest in the health, safety abd well-being of its members, let’s blame a no vaccine on… inmates.

    Maybe you should read your words for their own comprehension not for the idea it’s a Jedi Mind Trick


  114. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:08 pm:

    ==You are attempting to justify their resistance to mandatory vaccinations==

    No, I am justifying their right to negotiate. I have said absolutely nothing about being against the mandate.


  115. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:10 pm:

    ==Many on the left have been looking for a reason to cut bait with them for a while. If I’m remembering correctly, MJM had a huge feud with them back in the day==

    So did Blago and Quinn when it came to contracts, layoff/closure threats, and pensions.


  116. - MyTwoCents - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    The tyranny of the minority and pandering to the vocal minority is one of the most depressing aspects of the pandemic.

    If AFSCME continues down this road of pandering maybe it’s time for the Pritzker admin to conduct a strategic review of IDOC. The fiscally conservative thing to do would be to evaluate if the current number and sizes of all the current facilities is the most efficient use of tax dollars. For example, do there need to be prisons in Jacksonville, Taylorville & Hillsboro? Consolidation of facilities, even without a reduction in the capacity would at least reduce administrative expenses. Also it’s not like closing prisons would cost Pritzker any votes.


  117. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:16 pm:

    How about here…

    === IDOC inmates are out in the community everyday. Work camps, court writs, medical furloughs. Development Centers residents go to churches, schools, community gathering, etc.===

    Again, you have this fixation about… “whatabout”… ===

    That was a response to someone who didn’t realize that these people do leave these facilities and are out in public.


  118. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:17 pm:

    =No, I am justifying their right to negotiate.=

    What exactly is being negotiated? As Rich pointed out health and religious exemptions are red herrings so nothing to negotiate there. So are we negotiating over who can “fear” the vaccine? Good luck with.

    We’re down to a binary decision. Get the vaccine and continue to work or don’t and end your employment relationship with the state.


  119. - bungalowhistorians - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:18 pm:

    Bad Habits, the health and lives of employees in a pandemic is not something that should be bargained. I was a strong union supporter previously but this stance by AFSCME is the wrong one. And as other union member commenters have pointed out, most members are actually in favor of a mandate. This position has already cost AFSCME some members. It doesn’t seem worth it to pander to a vocal minority. Time to just do the right thing for the sake of the employees and the rest of the State of Illinois.


  120. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:20 pm:

    === That was a response to someone who didn’t realize that these people do leave these facilities and are out in public.===

    You’d think a labor organization seeing that would require its employer to mandate the vaccine for union members exposed to IDOC inmates leaving the facility under IDOC rules, for the safety and health of its membership.

    But… you didn’t. Did you.

    It’s about the ways to try to stop the mandate, not viewing being healthy is something a real labor organization would require of an employer.

    Anything else?


  121. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:20 pm:

    The governor called the union to the table to negotiate. I know you have read this from Rich’s several posts on this topic


  122. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    Reese’s pieces… why would you threaten your people contribution? The union needs that to compete politically.
    Please don’t. Instead I would invite you to become involved in your locals people committee to have a say in how that money is apportioned to local political candidates.
    We obviously need to all become more active to pull control away from the few and place it back into the hands of the many.
    I’m thinking about it. I realize it’s all of our faults as Afscme’s.
    I’ve thought for a while that power was centralized and the conventions were rubber stamp.
    Time for us to step up and demand a seat at the table.


  123. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    If AFSCME is going to try to negotiate to help the spread of the virus by pandering to a small group of anti-vax members…

    … AFSCME is not a serious labor organization or seen as a group dedicated to any charter labor norms.


  124. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:25 pm:

    ==We’re down to a binary decision.==

    Exactly.


  125. - Bad Habits - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:30 pm:

    I guess I’ll just tap out here.


  126. - Mason born - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:36 pm:

    Bad Habits

    I’ve taken inmates on Writs and Medical runs it’s just not quite the same as going down to the bar to watch the Cards or going out for the Friday fish fry. To pretend that inmates are somehow as exposed as staff is laughable whataboutism. Not to mention the percentage of inmates out in the public is a tiny fraction of the amount of staff out in the community every evening.

    As for Visitors, you want Visitors to be vaxxed to protect the Staff who won’t get vaccinated? Seems odd.

    AFSCME’s negotion should go like this, can we get 2 more weeks before firing or not. If the Staff doesn’t like it there are plenty of help wanted signs out there.


  127. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 4:43 pm:

    Union members who demand healthy workplaces can’t merely sit around and get mad, either. They need to contact their union reps and voice their concerns. They have to counter the irrational and dangerous voices of the anti-mandate crowd.

    “We’re down to a binary decision. Get the vaccine and continue to work or don’t and end your employment relationship with the state.”

    Or a “trinary” decision: get vaccinated or take regular tests, or don’t work here anymore.


  128. - Manchester - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:15 pm:

    Dear AfSCME, take the shot or lose your job. End of discussion.


  129. - Mrkg33 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 5:28 pm:

    I find it laughable that the alternative is enforcing mask rules and quarantines….the quarantines are already happening and who is going to enforce the mask rules? Lt’s, majors and wardens who don’t agree with masking either???? Start the process or lose your job, you may get some additional time to start the process while they look for your replacement.


  130. - Roadrunner - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:15 pm:

    At this point I believe AfSCME members don’t want to be forced to get vaccinated so that outbreaks continue to happen in their workplace so that they can all get paid their full salary to sit at home for 5 days while self-quarantined because it’s the simplest theory that explains everything.

    Do we know what the vax rates of the other Constitutional officers are? Whatabout Cook County and DuPage County? Surely someone has figured out how to do this by now.


  131. - Mason born - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 6:54 pm:

    Mrkg33

    It’s laughable because we all know if they went to heightened mask mandates, AFSCME would demand to negotiate the punishment scale so that “progressive discipline” ensures that the staff can flout the mask mandate for 8 weeks before they’re actually punished. “Have to start with a verbal reprimand, written reprimand, scheduled punishment meeting w union rep (4 weeks after offense)” dontcha know. It’s all bull to avoid making a stand so they can pretend they’re for vax but just protecting our guys.


  132. - Only In Illinois - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:22 pm:

    So…the Unions in Illinois have to bargain for or against masking….but private tax paying citizens have no voice…sad statement on Illinois Governor/Government


  133. - IT Guy - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:40 pm:

    Unbelievable. It further diminishes my support of public sector unions.


  134. - Mrkg33 - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 7:51 pm:

    All true mason born….it’s not like they haven’t had 16ish months to actually enforce masking. Send out a new memo “reminding” everyone to where their masks bit continue to do nothing about it.


  135. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 8:03 pm:

    Amanda Vinicky put it very eloquently a few minutes ago, as was said above in comments and by Rich: the union is trying to appeal to IDOC workers, adding that it’s a different audience than the one more aligned with Pritzker. Union members favoring a vaccine mandate or mandate/regular testing need to speak out. There may be a lot of these workers.


  136. - Alice - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 9:11 pm:

    Filling out form to drop out of union.


  137. - Coco - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 9:16 pm:

    I’m also in AFSCME, and I’m vaccinated. I see both sides honestly.

    I’ve had the Pfizer vaccine, and I’m fine. For those that don’t want to get the vaccine, there needs to be a compromise. Either vaccinate, or mask up and agree to regular testing in order to keep your co-workers safe. We bargain for safer workplaces, however when a member refuses to agree to anything, in this regard, that puts their co-workers at risk.

    I won’t drop out over this, nor will I bash AFSCME. For those that are, remember this. It’s a union’s job to represent the majority. If a majority do not want vaccines to be mandated, the union is obligated to go along with it, whether the union leaders agree with it or not. I personally have no problem with the vaccine being mandated, but if the members don’t want it, so be it. But there needs to be compromise on both sides.


  138. - The Eastern Block Strikes Again - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 11:24 pm:

    Someone needs remind Roberta Lynch and Anders Lindall of Randy Hellman’s dying wish. Randy was an member of the AFSCME executive committee who believed “AFSCME stands as one. Let’s vaccinate as one.” It’s time for AFSCME to step up and be a leader like Randy Hellman.

    This video speaks AFSCME did for Randy speaks volumes. https://fb.watch/7CP2NXE1rW/

    Can AFSCME also explain where the revenues are going to come from during this pandemic to pay the salaries of their members? Those same members who are afraid of the vaccine and are putting our economy and state revenues at further risk, as a result of not stopping the spread and getting vaccinated.

    Do it for Randy. It’s time to step up lead us out of this pandemic.


  139. - Seats - Wednesday, Aug 25, 21 @ 11:26 pm:

    Coco, a major issue I have with your logic is as a member I was never polled to see what my thoughts were on the mandate. Like you I will stay in it, as they need membership money for the next rauner that comes along and forces 3 years worth of court cases to prevent wages/insurance/pension arent gutted. To stop paying dues would be a mistake, especially when the end result is going to be a mandate regardless of their support for it. But it is a black eye, and members need to be contacting their reps to let them know how they feel. I sent emails today. But like Honeybear said before, no one should be dropping out if they havent even contacted their union to let them know what an embarassing mistake they are making.


  140. - Coco - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 5:49 am:

    @Seats Fair enough. Maybe the union should’ve taken a poll. At my last union meeting, if there were people who supported a mandate, they weren’t as vocal as those who don’t.


  141. - Honeybear - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 7:18 am:

    Now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to organize and gain democratic control back.
    If you’re going to quit over this I really feel like you probably didn’t participate much anyway.
    We need to be more active in our union than less.
    We the members let the IDOCs take control and this is where pandering to them has gotten us.
    Organize, Educate and Agitate
    Even with our own union
    I hate to be the Trotskyist and advocate permanent revolution
    But there you have it.
    Our task is clear
    Remove the IDOCs from power in our union


  142. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 8:08 am:

    Hopefully in addition to the indoor mask mandate and teacher mandatory vaccination, that today is also the day the Governor announces “vaccination or termination” for all state employees.


  143. - Alice - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 9:22 am:

    I never would have thought this would fracture AFSCME, but it has. I know many ppl who have left the union over this and many leaning towards doing so. Someone above said there is a correlation between anti vaxers and Republicans and while that might be true- it is not completely true in this case. I had a Webex meeting Monday- out of my group of 10, 6 we’re not vaccinated and did not want mandate. All 6 are from South Suburbs where vaccine rates are extremely low. All 6 are Democrats and full supporters of union- but if there is a mandate they might drop out. Either way AFSCME is going to lose a lot of members over this.


  144. - bungalowhistorians - Thursday, Aug 26, 21 @ 11:23 am:

    Honeybear, I appreciate what you are saying. I was an active participant and helped organize a health care facility. I did contact the AFSCME 31 office a month ago to express my concerns and disapproval with leadership’s stance. There was no response to my concerns. There are more members that are in favor of a mandate but the vocal minority seems to be the driving force right now. AFSCME has not been good in the past several years about listening to the voices of all of their members. This should be their wake up call. By the way, glad to see you back and keep speaking up for those who can’t or won’t.


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